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The Companions of Jehu

30. Citizen Fouché's Report
On arriving the next day, toward eleven in the morning, at the Hôtel des
Ambassadeurs, Madame de Montrevel was astonished to find, instead of Roland,
a stranger awaiting her. The stranger approached her.
"Are you the widow of General de Montrevel, madame?" he asked.
"Yes, monsieur," replied Madame de Montrevel, not a little astonished.
"And you are looking for your son?"
"Yes; and I do not understand, after the letter he wrote me--"
"Man proposes, the First Consul disposes," replied the stranger, laughing. "The
First Consul has disposed of your son for a few days, and has sent me to receive
you in his stead."
Madame de Montrevel bowed.
"To whom have I the honor of speaking?" she asked.
"To citizen Fauvelet de Bourrienne, his first secretary," replied the stranger.
"Will you thank the First Consul for me," replied Madame de Montrevel, "and
have the kindness to express to him the profound regret I feel at not being able to
do so myself?"
"But nothing can be more easy, madame."
"How so?"
"The First Consul has ordered me to bring you to the Luxembourg."
"Me?"
"You and your son."
"Oh! I am going to see General Bonaparte; I am going to see General
Bonaparte!" cried the child, jumping for joy and clapping his hands. "What
happiness!"
"Edouard, Edouard!" exclaimed Madame de Montrevel. Then, turning to
Bourrienne, "You must excuse him, sir; he is a little savage from the Jura
Mountains."
Bourrienne held out his hand to the boy.
"I am a friend of your brother's," said he. "Will you kiss me?"
"Oh! willingly, sir," replied Edouard. "You are not a thief, I know."
"Why, no; I trust not," replied the secretary, laughing.
"You must excuse him once again, sir. Our diligence was stopped on the way."
"Stopped?"
"Yes."
"By robbers?"
"Not exactly."
"Monsieur," asked Edouard, "when people take other people's money, are they
not thieves?"
"That is what they are generally called, my dear child."
"There, you see, mamma."
"Come, Edouard, be quiet, I beg of you."
 
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